Maxar Technologies aims to set up a NASA sensor on a commercial communications satellite to check air pollution over North America. This satellite is likely to travel in 2022 to geostationary orbit, Maxar and NASA declared this week.
“Maxar officials are discussing with various clients about flying the payload but have not yet inked a deal with a communications satellite operator to set up the TEMPO (Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring Pollution) sensor on a particular satellite,” claimed vice president at Maxar for civil space and space infrastructure, Al Tadros, claimed to the media in an interview. “We have a lot of curiosity in this,” Tadros claimed.
TEMPO developed Ball Aerospace declared late last year that it designed TEMPO, a spectrometer developed to observe visible and ultraviolet light, to the NASA Langley Research Center. From its landing in geostationary orbit, TEMPO will offer hourly updates on pollution in regions of 10 Square Kilometers during day time.
For the Metropolitan Area, TEMPO will offer calculations for 18 zones, displaying how air quality modifies throughout the day, claimed Kelly Chance, principal investigator for TEMPO from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. “It will display how areas during pollution go to sleep and wake up,” Chance claimed to the media.
NASA used the Hosted Payload Solutions contract vehicle by U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center to seek TEMPO proposals. The Air Force declared in 2014 that 14 firms were trained for the Hosted Payload Solutions project.
On a related note, natural disasters display the extensive utility of satellite images. After landslides, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, it is nonprofits, government agencies, and emergency responders that often turn to radar and electro optical imagery to plan rescues, measure the severity of the damage, begin rebuilding campaigns, and deliver aid. And Maxar Technologies earlier did the same by sharing satellite information and imagery to assist disaster response via its Open Data Program.